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Arguments about Uniforms

Many well intended adults have justified the use of school uniforms for many different reasons. While they make valid points I often disagree with them. Below are the 3 points I disagree with the most or you can skip down to what I beleive is a summary of valid pro and con arguments about uniforms.

Theme 1: Uniforms will stop other students by being judged on how they look / Uniforms will make it harder for cliques to form.

Response: No matter what you dress students in, they will always find a way to pass judgement upon their peers. If it's not based upon the style of clothes worn there are many other superficial ways to judge people and form cliques. Including: This list is by no means exhaustive, but you get the idea. Yes cliques can be a problem in schools. Yes judging people upon thier apearance can be bad in schools. However making everyone wear the same type of clothes is not going to make the problem magically disapear. Instead of hiding from the problem why not tackle it head on. Teach your kids to accept the odd kid out. Teach your kids not to judge based upon superficial criteria. Kids can be taught to be open to all sorts of people. However, by making everyone wear the same types of clothes, I believe you are just sending the message that since you can't accept each other when you are different, we're going to make you all the same. How will your child ever cope in the adult world when they actually do encounter someone who is different then themselves.

Theme 2: Uniforms will save families money / Students won't pressure their parents to buy clothes some families can't afford.

Response: Firstly uniforms have not saved my family money. If one avoids buying name brand clothing, clothes can be relatively affordable. When my mom bought my little brother his uniforms. She bought him 2 separate outfits. 2 golf shirts, 2 pairs of pants, 1 sweatshirt and 1 vest came to around $250.00. She could have easily bought a full weeks worth of street clothing (7 shirts, 3 pairs of pants) for slightly less money. Mind you, we aren't in the habit of buying new wardrobes every time a new school year starts, this is just a comparison. It should also be noted that when you buy uniforms, regular street clothing also needs to be bought for weekends and during the summer.

Some might say, "Wait a second. My kid's T-shirt costs $40 or more." It is not that difficult to find long lasting clothing in the 10-20 dollar range. The only catch it may not have your child's favourite company logo that is endorsed by a multi-millionaire. So what if your kid says that all the cool kids have Nike shirts? This is an ideal time to teach your child there is more to life than a cool logo. This would also be a good time to teach your child not to choose their friends based upon what logos their peers wear. If all the parents didn't buy their kids all logo clothing or taught their kids not to put emphasis on the logos, this wouldn't even been an issue.

Theme 3: Uniforms will make it easier to identify those who are not from the school and therefore increase security/safety.

Response: This is what I consider to be the only valid point. I guess sometimes students from other schools do go to other schools to cause trouble. I guess if they're in a t-shirt and baggy clothes they will stick out like a sore thumb. So from that respect the school will be protected from unruly outsiders. However, I somehow doubt uniforms will stop circle beatings in the pit and students sneaking in contraband weapons. I am also sure it would not be that hard to borrow uniforms from friends who may go to the uniform school. If there is a will, there is a way, especially with students who have lots of time conjure up ways to create mischief.

Pro-Uniforms Anti uniforms
  • Save money on clothing
  • Uniforms will cut down on teasing and cliques
  • schools will be safe from outsiders
  • Parents will no longer have to buy designer labels
  • Uniforms will separate the public schools from the catholic/private schools.
  • Uniforms ultimately cost more
  • Uniforms do not teach children how to deal with people who are different then themselves.
  • Cliques will still form.
  • It is impossible to prevent all outside intrusion
  • Children will still ask for designer labels for outside of school clothing. (Uniforms will not make this issue go away.)
  • If you need uniforms to distinguish between public and catholic/private schools it's time to re-evaluate where your child is going.
  • Uniforms teach children that in order to get along everyone must conform to the same standards.
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